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Full text of "Mathematical And Physical Papers - Iii"

ON  THE  CHANGE  OF REFRANGIBILITY OF  LIGHT.          297
the active light; but on combining the first and third methods, by removing the lens, placing the vessel truly in focus, and holding a blue glass alternately in front of the vessel and in front of the eye, I satisfied myself that the truly dispersed beam, taken as a whole, was of lower refrangibility than the light by which it was produced. The utility of the blue glass depended upon the circumstance that the upper extremity of the extreme red which it transmitted nearly coincided with the point of the spectrum at which the red beam occurred. This red beam was doubtless due to the presence of a small quantity of chlorophyll, or one of its modifications. The light transmitted by the fluid exhibited on prismatic analysis the absorption band in the red which is so characteristic of that substance.
The colour of the solution was a pale brownish yellow; it would no doubt have been still paler, and perhaps nearly colourless, had the sensitive principle to which the green dispersion was due been present in equal quantity but in a state of purity. As it was, the fluid was pale enough to exhibit well, when poured into a test tube and held in front of a window, a narrow arc on the side of the incident light, like sulphate of quinine, only in this case the arc was green instead of blue.
Frequency of the occurrence of true internal dispersion having the same general character as that which takes place in the cases above described.
44. If we except the red dispersed beam produced by red rays in the crystal of fluor-spar and in the stramonium extract, a strong similarity may be observed in the mode of internal dis-persion which takes place in the cases hitherto described. As the refrangibility of the incident light continually increases, the rays are at first inactive. At a certain point of the spectrum, varying according to circumstances, the true dispersion begins to be sensible, but is faint at first. After remaining faint for some distance it presently becomes more copious. It remains very conspicuous through the whole of the violet and beyond, and then gradually dies away. It consists at first of light of comparatively low refrangibility, and then new colours in the order of their refrangibility enter into it. Frequently the greater part of the